2016 Teacher Hall of Fame

David P. Schaeffer, 1957-1994 Mr. Schaeffer grew up in Hammond, Indiana and graduated from Hammond High School in 1950. He attended Indiana State University from 1950-1954 earning his BS in Education. While at Indiana State he was on the football team playing both offensive guard and defensive linebacker. During his senior year of college, Mr. Schaeffer served as captain of the football team and was awarded MVP. Mr. Schaeffer joined the US Marine Corp and was stationed at Camp Pendleton in California, achieving the rank of 1st Lieutenant. His career at CPHS started in 1957 teaching biology and life science. During his time at CPHS he was also head coach of the boys’ varsity football team from 1963-1971. Mr. Schaeffer has four children; Eric, Laura, Ilene and Evelyn and four grandchildren. In his retirement, he enjoys playing golf, traveling to northern Wisconsin and attending the sporting events of his grandchildren.

Jerry A. Caravana, 1967-2007 Born in Tempe, Arizona, Mr. Caravana was raised in Gary, Indiana, and attended Andrean High School. He graduated from Ball State University, BS., MA in 1967 at 22 years of age. During his 40 year tenure he taught and was Department Coordinator for Business Education. He continued his later years as Crown Point High School’s Athletic Director and planned and designed the indoor and outdoor athletic complex for the new high school. He has received numerous awards for his work with the Duneland Athletic Conference and State associations. Jerry established a $40,000 endowment upon retirement that awards $1,000 scholarships to graduating seniors. He continues his service to the schools and community serving in his second term as a school board member.

Charlotte Ann Johnsen, 1963-1994 Charlotte Ann was born on the 20th of February, 1939 in Greencastle, Indiana. Charlotte graduated from Clayton High School in 1959. In 1963 Charlotte graduated from Indiana State Teachers College in Terre Haute where she earned her Bachelor and Masters Degrees. She joined the staff of Taft Junior High School in 1963 where she met Dan Johnsen and they wed in 1968. Both joined the staff at CPHS in the latter 1970’s. Charlotte taught physical education and was a sponsor for cheerleading. She enjoyed attending and supporting all the school sporting events. She was a member of the John Purdue Club. She loved Purdue sports. She and Dan attended over 150 straight football games over a 13-14 year stretch including 12 bowl games. Charlotte was a member of Tri-Kappa Sorority in Crown Point and belonged to the Gary Sportsman Club.

Scott S. Vlink, 1979-2016, Scott  was born December 14th, 1955 in Libertyville Illinois. He graduated from Libertyville High School in 1974. While at Libertyville High School, he was a member of the football, wrestling and baseball teams. He attended Indiana State University and graduated in 1979 with a BS degree in physical education and a minor in health education. While at ISU he was a member of the wrestling team earning four varsity letters. In 1979, he was hired by the Crown Point Community School Corporation to teach physical education, health and to coach wrestling and football at the high school. The wrestling teams that he has coached have enjoyed much success, winning the IHSAA state championship in 2009. After a 37 year career at CPHS Scott will retire in the spring of 2016.He has been married to his wife Gayle for 37 years. Together they have three children, David, Mark and Kevin.


CPHS Alumni Association Teacher Hall of Fame 2015

Deborah Taylor Cuffia, 1973-2013
Born and raised in Ohio and Iowa, Deborah Cuffia graduated from Central High School in Sioux City, Iowa, and attended Indiana State University, earning a BS in education with a major in English. Deborah also completed her MS in education at Indiana University with a concentration in reading and her administrator’s license from Indiana Wesleyan University. After teaching reading to high school students for one year in Robinson, Illinois, Deb moved to northwestern Indiana and began teaching at Crown Point High School, where she happily spent the remainder of her career. During her tenure at CPHS, she taught 9th and 10th transitional English, 9th and 10th regular English, and senior college-bound English literature and world literature for 32 years. In addition to coaching varsity girls’ tennis for 16 years, she also chaired the School Improvement team for 6 years, was English Department Chair for 12 years, and assistant principal for 6 years. Deborah is married to Jim, has a daughter Kristen, a son-in-law Phil, and three grandchildren.

Joseph C. Heuer, 1956-1989
Industrial Education, Coach, and Sponsor
Mr. Heuer graduated from Purdue University with a BS degree in Trade and Industrial Education in January 1954. He earned his MS degree from Indiana State University in 1964. He served in the US Army doing topographical map drafting1954-1956. He taught mechanical drawing and architectural drawing for 33 years at CPHS, 1956-1989. He was head of the Industrial Education Department from 1959 through 1979. He coached boys golf from 1980-1989. Mr. Heuer also worked during the summer months as a product engineering draftsman at the Anderson Co. for 28 years. He served as Vice President and President of the Crown Point Classroom Teacher Association. He started and sponsored the Chess Club in 1956 and sponsored the Camera Club. He served as head sponsor for the class of 1967. He served in many positions in District 1, in the Indiana Industrial Education Association. Mr. Heuer moved through the ranks to serve as State President of the IIEA. Joe says that he has been blessed by God with a large family and second wife, Donna L. Bissey Keller, widow of Russ Keller, after the death of his first wife Carolyn Sorrell Heuer.

Nancy Huber May, 1970-2009
Algebra, Pre-Calculus, and AP Calculus
Mrs. May began her teaching career at Taft Junior High School in 1970. After maternity leave, she started teaching at Crown Point High School in 1977. She continued teaching at the high school until she retired in August of 2009. During her teaching career she taught all levels of mathematics and was the math department chairperson for twenty years.

Nancy and Tom May both graduated from Cannelton High School in Cannelton, Indiana. They went on to Indiana State University and earned their BS and MS degrees. Tom and Nancy have two children Jennifer and Jeff.

Tom May, 1970-2009
Physical Education, Health,
Fitness and Nutrition
Mr. May began his teaching career at Winfield Elementary and in 1972 moved to Taft Junior High. In 1975, he went on to teach at Crown Point High School. He served as the Physical Education department Chair for twenty-five years. Tom led the Bulldog Girls Basketball players to two state championships.

Malcolm “Mac” P. Ruby, 1943-1977
Biology & Chemistry Teacher and Coach
Mr. Ruby came to Crown Point in 1943 after teaching at Fountain City and Centerville Indiana. He held a liberal arts degree from Earlham College and MA from Ball State Teachers College. He taught biology and chemistry at Crown Point. Mr. Ruby was an active member in the Crown Point Community. He emphasized to his students scholarship, honesty, integrity, and good sportsmanship.

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2014 Teacher Hall of Fame

Carl W. Carnahan, 1942-1971 For over 25 years at CPHS, Carl Carnahan was a dedicated teacher, mentor, role model, and coach who inspired students and athletes to be their very best. Over his career he coached a variety of sports including basketball, football, wrestling, and baseball. In 1948, he was chosen to be the first Athletic Directors at CPHS. As baseball coach, he took the lead in building the high schools first baseball field with donations from NIPSCO. He built the entire backstop with his own sweat and energy. He was the first wrestling coach at CPHS and played an integral part in establishing the schools successful wrestling program. After his retirement, the Carl N. Carnahan Regional Wrestling invitational was established in his honor and he was inducted by his peers into the Indiana Wrestling Coaches Hall of Fame, His dedication and commitment to the young people of Crown Point were monumental.

Richard “Dick” Gordon, 1961-1995 Graduate of East Chicago Washington High school Class of 1957 Graduate of Indiana State University with BS Degree in 1961 Received MS Degree in 1963. During tenure at CPHS taught freshmen English, sophomore Honors English, Junior Composition and Grammar, World Literature, and Senior English (also known as Humanities).  Served as English Department Chairman from 1981 until retirement.  Received accommodation from 1991 and 1992 class valedictorians as their most influential teacher.  Received Indian High School Press Award from Franklin College in 1993.  Had the pleasure of teaching a former astronaut, a Rhodes Scholar, doctors, dentists, a Federal judge, lawyers, policemen, and many educators. Married Myrene Pepa in 1961, happily married for 52 years —father of a daughter Debbie (Keith Iddings) and son Greg (Diane)Three grand children Michael (27), Elizabeth (25), and Rebecca (21).

Jenelle Haack, 1972-1997 Janelle Haack taught special needs students for twenty-nine years. After graduating from Ashton, Illinois High School, she received her bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Arizona State University. She began her career teaching third and fourth grade students in Phoenix. After completing a master’s degree in special education, she accepted her first position as a special needs teacher at Alhambra High School in the Phoenix Union District. She taught four years there, where she was also work-study coordinator. Relocating in Crown Point in 1972, she taught the first MIMI-I classroom at Crown Point High School. During this time she became certified to teach students with learning disabilities by attending Northern Indiana University. She taught twenty five years at CPHS from 1972-1997.

Benjamin H. Owen, 1955-1987 Ben graduated from Butler University where he received his B.S. and M.S. He began his teaching career at Edison High School in Lake Station East Gary. He taught English Literature and American Literature at Crown Point High School from 1955 until his retirement in 1987.  Ben and his wife, Naomi, had two children Tim and Becky. He is known for being a kind, wise and gentle soul who enjoyed his country music.

Lucy Pruitt, 1963-1996 Mrs. Pruitt grew up in Crown Point and was an alumnus of Crown Point High School. She is proud to say that she is the only person to have attended Taft Junior High and Crown Point High schools, and to have spent her entire teaching career in the same buildings. Lucy graduated with the great CPHS class of 1958, then went to Ball State University and in 1962 earned a B.A. in Foreign Language in Education. She began teaching Spanish and French at CPHS in September of that year. Later, in 1973, she received her M.S. in education from Purdue University Calumet. Besides teaching at the high school, she also taught Spanish and French in the elementary school summer enrichment program for eleven years, three years in Highland, and eight in Crown Point. In addition, she was the Foreign Language Department Chairperson from 1975 to 1996. Her husband, Bill, and she were married in 1963 and celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary last July. They have two sons, Mike and Dan, six grandchildren, and two great grandchildren. After taking early retirement from the Crown Point school system in 1996, they moved to Brown County in southern Indiana. In 1997 Mrs. Pruitt began working at the Brown County Public Library and will complete seventeen years there in July.

George Tachtiris, 1973-2005 Marion Kellum was his critic teacher during his student teaching at CPHS in the fall of 1972. George signed his first contract with Crown Point Community Schools in 1973. His duties included classroom teacher, department chairman, track and cross country coach, media center AV director, and central office administrator. He is very proud of his participation in the development of the Humanities Class with his team teaching colleagues Dick Gordon and Jerry Holcomb. He also created the CPHS video program and classes. Mr. Tachtiris was the driving force behind the high speed, single domain, wide area computer network that CPCSC now enjoys. Mr. Tachtiris was an active participant in the school community and served as the varsity basketball scorekeeper, boys and girls basketball videographer, powder-puff coach, and Art and film Club sponsor. He was a member of the Crown Point Rotary Olympics committee and served as a judge for a variety of community art shows and competitions. Mr. Tachtiris is very happily retired and has been married to Jill for 42 years. They have three children: Alex, Valerie, and Corine. The couple has resided in rural Jasper County for 38 years.